The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education™ reaffirmed UNT's standing as a Tier One research university -- an achievement recognizing the university's efforts to grow its research enterprise and commitment to rise toward national prominence -- in a recent 2018 rankings report released Feb. 15.
With only 131 universities included in the classification -- Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity -- UNT is ranked among the nation's most elite research institutions in the top tier.
The Carnegie Classification is a highly regarded framework for measuring universities' research activity and graduate programs. Through high-level research and scholarship, Tier One universities drive innovation and contribute significantly to the region and state through intellectual capital and economic development. First elevated to the Carnegie R1 category in 2015, UNT is celebrating this recognition and continued progress toward research excellence, teaching and reputation.
"Our R1 classification is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding faculty and staff to provide our students the best education and to help them succeed," UNT President Neal Smatresk says. "This recognition speaks to the quality and impact of the research being conducted at UNT, and it is further evidence of our continued progress toward national prominence as a leading research university."
The Carnegie Classification rankings are released every three years and are based on research, expenditures and doctoral degrees awarded. The 2018 rankings are based on fiscal year 2017. The research activity index, which considers the number of doctoral degrees awarded has been broadened to include more types of degrees in the latest rankings. Professional degrees such as doctoral degrees in medicine, law, pharmacy and divinitynow are included in the ranking methodology. This broadens the pool of research universities included in the classification, making UNT's inclusion in this year's list even more significant.
"We have worked hard to strengthen our research culture, with an increasing number of our academic programs being nationally ranked," says Jennifer Cowley, UNT's provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The Carnegie Classification is an important recognition of our efforts and research standing."
UNT has a broad base of research and scholarship across 230 academic programs spanning disciplines from science and engineering to arts, education and political science. UNT consistently leads the region and ranks among the state's top universities for the number of doctoral degrees it awards annually.
"Our productivity in research expenditures continues to grow," says Narendra Dahotre, UNT's interim vice president for research and innovation. "We experienced about a 20 percent increase in externally sponsored research expenditures in 2018 from the year prior due to the devoted efforts of many across campus."
Additionally, focused hiring strategies are increasing the portion of faculty engaged in funded research, and collaborations with national laboratories and industry are on the rise. The recent opening of UNT's Additive Manufacturing Laboratory and construction of a new Biomedical Engineering Building are indicative of growth in emerging areas of research.
"Our momentum as a research university will continue as we build additional programs that foster innovation and production from our faculty and student researchers," Smatresk says. "We're entering a new era of research excellence and investing in programs to drive innovation and technology like biomedical engineering, one of our fastest-growing programs at UNT."
The university's Institutes of Research Excellence, which were launched in 2015, bring together a critical mass of knowledge and faculty collaborating on projects designed to create a stronger platform for interdisciplinary research and partnerships with industry. The institutes have helped the university continue to develop as a research hub for plant science, renewable energy technologies, bioproducts, applied environmental research, logistics and materials science and engineering.
"Having our Tier One ranking reaffirmed is significant for many reasons," Dahotre says. "Tier One universities attract the highest caliber of students, faculty and researchers. Maintaining this status will continue to help our faculty and student researchers push the boundaries of their fields while helping our university grow its overall research enterprise."
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